In keeping with its mission, Sépaq plays a major role in the protection of Québec's environmental assets by aiming to integrate environmental, social and economic concerns with development and accessibility for the benefit of Québec residents and future generations. Sustainable development and the protection of the environment are fundamental values guiding the activities of its personnel and the development of services offered to its clientele. These values are well integrated into operations, and are the basis of the work done to go even further and make Sépaq a model business.
Adoption of a sustainable development plan
The Sustainable Development Action Plan 2016-2020, which entered into force on March 31, 2016, outlines the measures Sépaq intends to take to contribute to the Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2015-2020. This second government strategy proposes 8 orientations and 27 objectives concerning which departments and agencies, in their respective action plans, must associate their own objectives and disclose their actions.
In terms of sustainable development and territorial enhancement, Sépaq is a high-performance organization and it intends to build on this momentum. The organization wishes to fulfill its obligations with an action plan building on its achievements, seeking to continue and improve current measures and eco-responsible management practices and to put forward a certain number of new initiatives.
For the 2016 to 2020 period, Sépaq will pursue its sustainable development commitment by contributing to four of the eight orientations of the government strategy:
- Strengthen sustainable development governance in the public administration
- Manage natural resources responsibly in a manner that respects biodiversity
- Improve, through prevention, the health of the population
- Ensure sustainable development of the territory and support the vitality of communities
The new Sépaq sustainable development action plan puts forward fifteen actions that contribute to four orientations and eight objectives of the government strategy. These initiatives are grouped by orientation and by the government objective to which they contribute. The specific organizational objectives being targeted are also specified therein. The actions are all paired with targets and indicators to measure their realization.
Over the next four years, a number of measures already in place will be enhanced and a number of new ones will be initiated to reach the targets of the action plan. Regularly monitored in terms of results achieved, this plan will be subject to the continuous improvement and accountability criteria outlined in Sépaq’s annual report.
Raising awareness and education in sustainable development and environmental protection
The information given to Sépaq’s visitors aims to raise their awareness about the impact of human presence in nature and on the responsibility they share with the staff and the corporation. For example, promotional documentation and information handed out when they enter the establishments suggest concrete actions, such as recycling empty propane tanks. This allows visitors to contribute in a tangible way to reducing the environmental footprint. Finally, the 300,000 people that participated in discovery activities in the parks are introduced to environmental issues and the principles of sustainable development.
In addition, every year more than 30,000 students participate in one of the school activities offered by Sépaq. These include an activity specifically designed for junior secondary geography courses where a park warden comes to class to share with students his or her knowledge about national parks. During other activities, students are asked to come and meet park wardens directly in the parks themselves.
Environmentally responsible purchasing policy
Sépaq has adopted an environmentally responsible purchasing policy that is revised on a periodic basis. The aim of this policy is to promote the acquisition of goods respecting sustainable development criteria, to provide those in charge of making purchases with environmental criteria to be taken into account when purchasing certain goods, and to establish sustainable and responsible procurement practices. The policy includes a list of 10 items that must be acquired in accordance with the aforementioned purchasing criteria and requirements.